VERMILLION COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The new Trailhead Walking and Biking Trail Park is set open at 10 a.m July 13, offering a new leisure area for Wabash Valley residents.
The project began four years ago after the Vermillion Trails Alliance received a piece of county property just off of State Road 63. Les Zimmerman, president of the Vermillion Trails Alliance, said the group wanted to build a park that would promote healthy living across the area.
“The trail begins back here in the corner of the property,” Zimmerman said. “There’s an access to it. It is an abandoned railbed. We’ve taken the ties out and it stretches for about 3,000 feet. We put in a parking lot. We built a timber frame picnic shelter, in the style of an old picnic shelter the kind that you see in the state parks.”
Zimmerman said the Vermillion County Park Board, Trails Alliance members and countless volunteers helped build the park from the ground up. The group said thanks to countless community donations it was able to bring a vision to life with virtually no cost to the county.
“We’ve had such a broad partnership,” Zimmerman said. “It’s very exciting to have a lot of buy in with this. There were local contractors involved in erecting this thing and putting a roof on it. A lot of board members brought in equipment. We furnished fuel. We dug the trees. We planted the trees. We had 4-H kids. We had schoolkids and lots of volunteers. So this really a community wide project.”
The park has been available for the community to use for several weeks. Zimmerman said he hopes that after the grand opening, more people will take advantage of Vermillion County’s newest attraction.
“We envision a Vermillion County that values healthy lifestyles and we embrace conservation ethics we feel this just provides opportunities for folks to get outside, get exercise, get fresh air, learn about nature and learn about why we need to conserve our natural resources,” he said.
The park is free to the public. Zimmerman also said they have plans to repurpose more abandoned railbeds and turn them into trails, including one near Hillsdale, Ind.